This petition is calling for a mandatory minimum custodial sentence to be introduced for anyone convicted of the sexual assault of a minor. Furthermore, all those convicted of sexually assaulting a minor should remain on the sex offenders register for life effective in both present and historical cases.
Of those found guilty of paedophilic offences in 2012 under the Sexual Offences Act, around 42% avoided jail. Without a custodial sentence of 30 months to life they will be off the sex offenders register within a maximum of 10 years. In 2015, the life shattering and harmful long-term consequences of sexually abusing a child are well known. Research has established a strong relationship between child sexual abuse and adverse mental health issues for victims. This includes post traumatic stress disorder, self harm, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, helplessness, negative attributions, aggressive behaviours, conduct problems, and anxiety. All victims of childhood sexual abuse are denied the basic human right of consenting to their first sexual experience; this cannot be remedied and is as such a life sentence for the victim. How then can we justify a system that allows perpetrators to walk free with a mere fine or community service? It is an insult to the victims of this crime and excuses an act which is profoundly inexcusable. We, the undersigned, request a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of 2 years for the sexual assault of a minor. The current mitigating factors would remain in place.